Le-Ba ends the Snapper reign
LE BA (Lennox Head-Ballina) Boardriders have halted the championship run of national title-holder Snapper Rocks by taking out the final of the Queensland Jim Beam Surftag at Duranbah on the Gold Coast.
The Jim Beam Surftag is the nation's premier club surfing competition, and unheralded 27-year-old Marcus Aboody led his Le Ba teammates from the front ? literally.
Aboody recorded the highest score of the day, surfing first in the final, to help Le Ba (89.4) to victory over North End (86.6), two-time defending champions Snapper (79.9) and Cabarita (49).
Importantly, all four finalists won through to the 2007 Jim Beam Surftag national final in Sydney on March 2-3.
Aboody was the standout surfer on a day that was littered with high scores from an array of World Qualifying Series surfers and rising young stars.
In his club's quarter-final win, Aboody posted a 23.1 before repeating his slashing form in the semi-finals with a 23.5, again getting his team an early lead that was never cut down.
"I just tried to stay consistent and get clean waves and get as many turns as possible in without falling off," Aboody said. Aboody was not on his own in scoring highly for the club, with WQS trio Jock Barnes (20.6 in the final), Adam Melling (17.7) and James Wood, ably supported by Glen Curtis.
The top 16 clubs in the country will now focus their attention on snatching the national Surftag crown back from Snapper Rocks, who took out last year's final by defeating Curl Curl, Noosa and Cronulla.
Aboody says he and his clubmates are looking forward to the challenge of facing the best clubs in the nation as well as a much-anticipated rematch with Snapper in two weeks.
The Jim Beam Surftag National Series is run under the popular tag team format, with each club being represented by five surfers.
In relay style, each surfer catches three waves and then returns to the beach to tag the next surfer.
All three waves ridden count towards the team's final score, with each surfer's second wave worth double points ? the 'Powerwave'.